Sea level trends and interannual variability at Antalya and Mentes tide gauges are investigated during the 1985-2001 period, quantifying the roles of atmospheric, steric and local land motion contributions. Tide gauge sea level measurements, temperature/salinity climatologies and GPS data are used in the analyses and the results are compared with the output of a barotropic model forced by atmospheric pressure and wind. The overall sea level trends at two tide gauges collocated with GPS are in the range of 5.5 to 7.9 mm/yr during the study period, but showing different behaviour in the sub-periods 1985-1993 and 1993-2001 due to variations in the contributing factors both in space and time. After the removal of the atmospheric forcing and steric contribution from sea level records, the resulting trends vary between 1.9 to 4.5 mm/yr in Antalya and -1.2 to -11.6 mm/yr in Mentes depending on the period considered. Vertical land movement estimated from GPS data seems to explain the high positive residual trend in Antalya during the whole period. On the other hand, the source of the highly negative sea level trend of about -14 mm/yr in Mentes during 1985-1993 could not be resolved with the available datasets. Interannual variability of wind and atmospheric pressure appear to dominate the sea level at both tide gauges during the study period. Atmospheric and steric contributions together account for similar to 50% of the total sea level variance at interannual time scales. Mass induced sect level variations which were not considered in this study may help to close the sea level trend budgets as well as to better explain the interannual sett level variance.